What is Value?

I’ve had these words written on a post-it on my work computer, and a scrap of paper blu-tacked to my home computer desk, for almost a year now.  “What is Value?”

When I first put them up at the recommendation of David Deangelo,  I didn’t really understand what they meant and as I write this blog I still don’t.  The point of putting the words up is not to know the answer, but to always be asking the question from different contexts, first by asking what is valuable: “What is valuable to me?”,  “What is valuable to her?”, “What is valuable to my boss?”; then by asking what being valuable, or not being valuable means, to simply ask: “What is value?” To me?  To her?  To my boss? etc.  It was an idea that really appealed to me, and as I recently got reminded of the concept I wanted to share some musings on it.

The muse, in this case, was Batman.  Or, to be more specific, my housemate playing Batman: Arkham Asylum.  I watched him struggling and swearing and restarting his way through one of the final minion battles – one that I found disappointingly easy – and realised that over the course of the game, he never became particularly skilled at the controls.  To me, a game like Arkham Asylum (which if you haven’t played yet – go get it right now!) offers a window to perfection: it’s technically possibly to go through the entire game without Batman taking a single hit, or at least only taking a few grazing body punches.  To me that makes the game so much more believable that it becomes valuable to me to get skilled enough at the controls to play a believable game.

Of course, my housemate doesn’t feel the same way, and only ever became skilled enough at the controls to get through the parts he needed to.  And it reminded me to ask myself: “What is Value, to him?”

What is Value to you?

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